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June 30, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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June 30, 2017

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 30, 2017 Cherries from Jonathan Feldstein's tree. Apricots from Feldstein's tree. A grapevine in Feldstein's yard. By Jonathan Feldstein have we picked and devoured In 1867 Mark Twain visited used for cultivating grapes (Levites) and the poor. The salad connects ustothe Land, the fruit of our cherry tree, Israel, and wrote his impres- or olives as are visible in so Temple doesn't stand now, to the Bible, and to God, every Until I moved to Israel, the then it's time to harvest the sions in "Innocents Abroad." much of the Judean hills in and we don't bring offerings day. In seeing the abundance closest I got to farming was apricots. This year, our apri- He described a desolate coun- which I live. Under Ottoman there, soterumahandmaaser of the Landasembodiedinmy knowingwere to get goodpro- cot tree produced more than try--devoid of both vegeta- law from more than a century are no longer distributed or ownbackyard, Ican'thelpbut duceatafarmersmarket.Since 1000 sweet gems. And in two tion and people. He called ago, one who cultivated the eaten in Jerusalem. Yet the think of the spies Moses sent living in Israel, I see how the months it will be time to pick Israel "... A desolate country land, ownedthe land. Inmany requirement to separate and and the abundant fruit they simpleactofeatingandgrow- the grapes and plums. But whose soil is rich enough, but places, that's still observed designatethemstillapplies.In bore with them along with ing produce is a fulfillment of not to let any blessing go to isgivenoverwhollytoweeds.., here today. A short 50 years that way, we affirm that even the report, "The Land which God's promise, and Ezekiel's waste, our grape leaves have a silent mournful expanse.., ago, these hills were virgin, picking and eating apricots, we passed through to spy it prophesy which impacts and been picked and used to make a desolation.., we never saw undeveloped, and never cul- or buying potatoes at the out, is an exceedingly good moves me personally, a Middle Eastern favorite, a human being on the whole tivated, grocery store, has its source Land." (Numbers 14:7) "I will make them and the stuffed grape leaves, route.., hardly a tree or shrub The miracle of the growthof in the God of Israel. Sothrough an act as simple places all around My hill a Because lemon trees blos- anywhere. Even the olive tree modern Israelaffirms not just And every seven years we as picking one (or athousand) blessing; and I will cause somandgivefruittwiceayear, and the cactus, those fast God's blessing but embodies observe the shmitayear, the apricots, we not only literally showers to come down in rarely does a week go by that friendsofaworthlesssoil, had Robert F. Kennedy's rhetori- biblically ordained sabbatical enjoy the fruit of the Land their season; there shall be my wife doesn't pluck a fresh almostdesertedthe country." cal question, "Some men see year, duringwhichthe Landis that God promised, but also showers ofblessing. Then the juicylemontouseincooking, If he could only see it now things as they are and ask lefttoliefallowandallagricul- thrive on that and so many trees of the field shall yield or squeeze in tea. But none overflowing with life, with why, I dreamthingsthatnever turalactivity, including plow- other blessings just by being their fruit, andthe earth shall of this is because I suddenly abundance, the modern-day were and ask why not." Israel ing, planting, pruning and here. Indeed, it feels like the yield her increase. They shall became a great farmer. And miracle of Israel on a deep, received the gift of the Land harvesting, is prohibited. The prophet Ezekiel has come to besafein theirland... (Ezekiel always when I pluck fresh spiritual level personified in but also saw the promise in biblical injunction is men- visitandinvokedthisblessing 34:26--27) fruit from my yard, or simply our vegetation, in the fruit the Land. Barren mountains, tionedandreiteratedmultiple on us personally. Whenweboughtourhouse walk into the house passing salad growing throughout andswampsteemingwithma-times such as "You may plant Jonathan Feldstein was in Israel, itwas important to the apricots and grapes, I myyard, laria, have become fertile. We your land for six years and born and educated in the U.S. landscape our yard not just am mindful of the One from Once, I was hosting a col- have the privilege of not just gather its crops. But during and immigrated to Israel in with beautiful trees, butwith whomthisblessingisderived, legeprofessorwhosespecialty being the recipient of God's the seventh year, you must 2004. He is married and the ones that demonstrate the I often get choked up at isMiddle Easternandmodern promise, but His partners in leave it alone and withdraw father of six. He has a three- blessing of the Land. Israel how the miracle of an ordi- Israeli history. In looking making this so. from it. The needy among decade career in nonprofit is the only country in which nary tree so embodies God's out at my neighborhood,But as Israelis and Jews, it you will then be able to eat fundraising and marketing there were more trees at the blessing of His people in our he asked how I knew that doesn't stop there. We affirm just asyou do, and whatever is and throughout his life and beginningofthe21stcentury Land. Looking out at the bar- this land wasn't in fact once the biblical injunction known left over can be eaten by wild career, he has become a re- than at the beginning of the ren land between my house owned by PalestinianArabs. I as the separation of terumah animals." (Exodus 23:10-11). spected bridge between Jews 20th century. We have a and Bethlehem, I sometimes answeredthatbecauseIhada and maaser from produce of Shmita is also underscored in and Christians. He writes cherry, apricot, lemon, lime, imagine how this miracle is great teacher in college and I the Land. (Numbers 18) This Leviticus (25:20-22), Deuter- regularly on major Christian apple, and plum tree, and a so vivid, not just in the fruit learned to look to see what's is based in a time that the onomy (15:1-6) as well as in web sites about Israel and grape vine. At this time of itself, but in the stark differ- there and what's not there. Temple still stood, and these Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Kings shares experiences of living year we see the fulfillment ence between what this area Had the land been ownedofferings were distributed and Chronicles. as anOrthodoxJewinlsrael. of that promise about which looked like before--barren, by Palestinian Arabs, it'd in a specified manner to the Simply, making or eating HecanbereachedatFirstPer- Ezekielprophesied. Nosooner rocky, and devoid of life. likely have been terraced and Kohanim (Priests), Leviim something as mundane as a ram in q Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III, (1), Water-Gen USA President Yehuda Kaploun and Lior Haiat, consul general to Israel in Miami, toasting Water-Gen in Miami Gardens, Fla., June 20, 2017. By Andrew Tobin (JTA)--Large parts of Flor- ida are suffering from severe drought, and hurricane sea- son threatens to make things worse. Enter Water-Gen, an Is- raeli company whose tech- nology captures humidity to extract drinking water from the am On Monday, the South Florida city of Miami Gardens announced it was launching a pilot program with the company to address its water problems--the first U.S. city to do so. "As representatives respon- sible for the quality of life and President Yehuda Kaploun Carlos Gimenez said he sees president of the World Jew- safety of our communities, said Monday. "We are ideally Water-Gen's potential to help ish Congress, Water-Gen has preparedness and readinessto positioned to enable commu- the state. Jewish friends in high places. counter crises is mandatory," nities to tap into a clean and "I congratulate Mayor Prime Minister Benjamin MayorOliverGilbertIIIsaidat safe drinking water source Gilbert andtheCityofMiami Netanyahu mentioned it in a City Hall news conference, with a refreshing taste." Gardens for its leadership in an interview last December "Water Gen's pilotwill enable Florida gets much of its allowing for the demonstra- withCBS's"6OMinutes"about us to measure its use for clean drinking water from thetion of water generation Israel's high-tech prowess. In drinking water if needed for Floridian Aquifer and the technology that could be March, Harvard Law professor hurricanereliefandanyother Biscayne Aquifer, as well as a game-changer," he said Alan Dershowitz demon- emergency water situation from surface water from Lake Monday. strated the technology on that may arise." Okeechobee and other lakes, Water-Gen's ambitions stage at the American Israel Over the next two weeks, but population increases extend beyond Florida and Public Affairs Committee's MiamiGardenswilluseamid- have strained available sourc- the United States. Earlier annual policy conference in sized Water-Gen generator to es. Because of the drought, thisyear, the company signed Washington, D.C. produce drinking water for Miami-Dade County, where deals, together worth $150 He touted the technology its residents. Water-Gen of- Miami Gardens in located, million, to produce drinking as a way to counter world- ficials said they hope the pilot has put restrictions on water water in India and Vietnam, wide water scarcity and the leadstocontractswithMiami use, including banning resi- two countries that havelong Boycott, Divestment and Gardens and other parts of dents fromwateringoutdoors facedshortages.About 1.2bil- Sanctions movement against Florida. The company's larg- between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. lion people, nearly one-fifth Israel. est generator yields as much In addition, Florida is brac- of the world's population, live "There is no weapon more as 825 gallons of water per ing for hurricanes, which in areas of water scarcity, ac- powerful in the fight against day for only 10 cents a gal- hit the state harder than cording to the United Nations BDS than for Israel to develop ion, mostly in energy costs, any other and can causeDepartmentofEconomicandtechnologies that the world according to the company, water contamination. Hur- Social Affairs. cannot live without," he told "Miami Gardens is our first ricane season runs from June Owned by Russian-Israeli the crowd "You cannot boy- significant pilot program in through November. entrepreneur and billionaire cott products that you can't a U.S. city," Water-Gen USA Miami-Dade County MayorMichael Mirilashvili, the vice live without."